Edison, NJ (PRWEB) August 30, 2013
PharmScript reminds long-term care facilities that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented new F309 Quality of Care Guidance to surveyors for determining nursing facility compliance with end of life care requirements.
New guidelines specify that medical treatments should be assessed by the health care team, weighing potential benefits against potential burdens or risks for residents. The consultant pharmacist is an important resource in these efforts and in documenting medication-related decisions.
Palliative care as an option provides individualized comfort measures, even if the resident does not choose the involvement of hospice. According to CMS, decisions about diagnostic tests, medical procedures, and medication use should include consideration of the individual’s prognosis, choices, personal values, desired level of comfort, and dignity.
The consultant pharmacist brings valuable knowledge to the discussion to ensure that medication use is consistent with the goals of comfort, symptom control, and supporting the level of alertness desired by the individual.
"Symptom relief is a key component in assuring comfort and supporting death with dignity," said Saul Greenberger, founder of East Coast-based long-term care pharmacy PharmScript. "Pharmacy's expertise is beneficial as adjustments are made to attain desired pain relief while managing an individual’s side effects."
The new F309 guidance also includes the following recommended ABCDE Mnemonic for use in meeting an individual’s needs at the end of life:
A. Ask about and screen for pain and other symptoms related to the resident’s end of life status on admission and periodically thereafter. Assess regularly for symptoms and their impact on the resident.
B. Believe the resident’s report of pain or other symptoms, what precipitates it or makes it worse, and what relieves it.
C. Choose symptom control options that are appropriate for the individual.
D. Deliver interventions in a timely, logical, coordinated manner.
E. Empower the resident to participate in creating treatment goals and planning interventions as possible. Evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen interventions.
Your consultant pharmacist, working with the physician and the nursing team, can make recommendations designed to guide medication management, symptom relief, and side-effect reduction. Invite him or her to work with you as you develop protocols with a range of comfort measures for your residents with end of life needs.
To read more helpful tips on how to maximize the pharmacy experience, visit PharmScript’s learning center at http://www.pharmscript.com/learning.html.
The unique principles upon which PharmScript was founded were based on years of invaluable experience in the long-term care industry. Comprised of a reputable and experienced management team, PharmScript is geared toward providing the ultimate pharmacy experience utilizing cutting-edge technology, impeccable customer service, and assisting facilities in saving on pharmacy costs. Pharmscript currently services New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington DC, Maryland, Florida and Texas.